Marchand ejected for spearing Lightning's Dotchin (Video)

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Brad Marchand has established himself as a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate this season, but he’s always going to be a dirtbag first and foremost.

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And boy did he really outdo himself on Tuesday.

In the first period against the Lightning, Marchand decided to direct the blade of his stick into the midsection of Tampa’s Jake Dotchin. He was handed a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play, despite comically pleading his innocence to the referee.

Marchand already dodged a suspension in January for slew-footing Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall, something he has made a habit of over his career, so it seems unlikely the NHL will crack down on him for this.

Steve Ott, another player with a shady track record, was fined earlier in the season for this spear on Boston’s Zdeno Chara.

Marchand has been suspended four times in his career, with the most recent occurring in December 2015 for clipping Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki.

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But the timing of this incident couldn’t have been worse for the Bruins.

Boston came into Tuesday’s game against the Lightning with a chance to clinch a playoff spot, and it’s not ideal to give the team chasing you a five-minute power play to work with. Although the Bruins ended up killing the penalty and punching their ticket to the postseason, it’s still a dumb play by a great player that could have cost the Bruins in a big way.